25 Apr 2017

O Brasil cantam os salmos: Salmo 65

I found last year's trip to Brazil a most encouraging experience, as it showed the great power of the gospel in the world's fifth largest country. Here is a Presbyterian congregation in Aracaju singing Psalm 65, as set to the proper Genevan melody.

Achei a viagem no ano passado para o Brasil uma experiência muito encorajadora porque mostrou o grande poder do evangelho no quinto maior país do mundo. Aqui está uma congregação presbiteriana em Aracaju cantando Salmo 65, de acordo com a melodia de Genebra:

3 Apr 2017

New web home sought

As my employment will soon be ending at Redeemer University College, I am currently seeking a new online home for my Genevan Psalter website. If you know of someone who would be willing to host it, please let me know. Thank you.

Psaume 52: Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

20 Mar 2017

Announcement: termination of employment


This is to let you know that, after teaching political science at Redeemer University College for thirty years, I have been let go due to programme restructuring and budgetary constraints. Some of you may recall that I was nearly let go two years ago but was reprieved by the institution's senate. This time, however, my termination was approved by the senate and the board of governors. Accordingly I will not be teaching during the 2017-2018 academic year.

As I am approaching the normal retirement age, I may take that option at the end of that year, but, if so, under the conditions of my termination I will do so without receiving emeritus status from Redeemer. Instead I will use the next year for my own research and writing, as well as to seek other employment opportunities. If you know of any such opportunities, I would be grateful if you would let me know.

In the meantime, if you have young people who are considering university, please do consider Redeemer, where they will continue to receive a high-quality education.

I would appreciate your prayers for my family and me, as well as for my soon-to-be former employer.

Thank you.

David Koyzis

22 Feb 2017

Psaume 100 en français

By the time the famous Scottish Psalter was published in 1650, the Genevan tune for Psalm 134 had been renumbered as OLD ONE-HUNDREDTH. Then, of course, the tune was matched with Bishop Thomas Ken's text, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," often referred to as The Doxology and sung after the collection of the offering in Reformed church services.

But the real "Old One-Hundredth" from the Genevan Psalter is a hauntingly lovely tune deserving wider recognition. Hear it beautifully sung below in the French language.

13 Feb 2017

Psalms 81 and 114 in Hungarian

A very nice rendition of Psalm 81, notwithstanding the coughing:

And a performance of Psalm 114, according to the well-known arrangement by Zoltán Kodály, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation:

2 Oct 2016

Nat Turner sings the Psalms

The October 2016 issue of National Geographic carries a fascinating article, "I, Too, Am America," about the African American experience in the United States, with this description: "A dazzling new museum in the nation's capital and its eclectic collection show the personal side of the suffering, perseverance, and triumphs of African Americans." Among the artefacts housed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture is the personal Bible of Nat Turner, who led a famous slave revolt in 1831.

The image above appears on p. 124 of the article. A careful examination of the page indicates that Turner's Bible contained a metrical psalter, the Scottish Psalter of 1650, in fact. In the right hand column we read Psalm 121:

I to the hills will lift mine eyes,
from whence doth come mine aid.
2 My safety cometh from the Lord,
who heav'n and earth hath made.

3 Thy foot he'll not let slide, nor will
he slumber that thee keeps.
4 Behold, he that keeps Israel,
he slumbers not, nor sleeps.

5 The Lord thee keeps, the Lord thy shade
on thy right hand doth stay:
6 The moon by night thee shall not smite,
nor yet the sun by day.

7 The Lord shall keep thy soul; he shall
preserve thee from all ill.
8 Henceforth thy going out and in
God keep for ever will.

The author of the article makes no mention of this, but it prompts me to wonder whether the old black American churches might once have sung the Psalms according to the well-known Scottish versifications. Singing the Psalms would be a natural for a community that suffered so much during the centuries of slavery and after. More research is obviously needed to answer this question.

29 Sep 2016

Ali Ufki's Turkish Psalter: Psalm 2

As a young man, the Polish Reformed Christian Wojciech Bobowski (1610-1675) was abducted by the Tatars and sold to the Ottoman Sultan, whom he served as court translator, treasurer and composer. Taking on the name Ali Ufki, he translated the first fourteen of the Genevan Psalms into Turkish. Here is a performance of his version of the second Psalm:

14 Jul 2016

O Ofício Diário

To observe the recent feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia, First Things reposted this article of mine on its facebook page: The Daily Office. That same day a Portuguese translation was posted at Lecionário: O Ofício Diário. I ask again:

E se todos os cristãos vivessem em comunidades onde a oração da manhã, da tarde e da noite fossem feitas em uma base diária? Muçulmanos comuns oram cinco vezes por dia. Parece que os antigos israelitas oravam em qualquer lugar de três a sete vezes por dia (Daniel 6:10; Salmos 119: 164; cf., Atos 10: 9). Como isso mudaria a nossa relação comunal com Deus? Como isso poderia alterar a maneira como vivemos nossas vidas juntos? Suspeita-se que, pela graça de Deus, a adoção geral do princípio beneditino de ora et labora poderia mudar a história. Oro a Deus que assim seja.
What if all Christians lived in communities where morning, evening and night prayer were prayed on a daily basis? Ordinary Muslims pray five times a day. The ancient Israelites appear to have prayed anywhere from three to seven times daily (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 119:164; cf., Acts 10:9). How would this change our communal relationship with God? How would it alter the way we live our lives together? One suspects that, by God’s grace, the general adoption of the Benedictine principle of ora et labora could change history. Pray God it be so.

9 Jul 2016

Os Salmos e a Primeira Guerra Mundial

One of my articles from two years ago has been published in Portuguese for primarily Brazilian readers: Os Salmos e a Primeira Guerra Mundial. Here is the original: One Hundred Years Later: The Psalms and the First World War.